Snacking, Stress and Caregivers: Why Caregivers Turn To Bad Nutrition And How To Prevent It
Being a caregiver is not an easy job. To look after an individual (or a bunch of individuals) for long periods of time can be both physically and emotionally taxing. In the process, the caregiver usually forgets to take care of his or her health. It’s not just a lack of sleep or lack of socialization, but also bad nutrition that goes into keeping them energized throughout the day.
Caregivers are more likely to go for foods that are high in bad fats and sugars. As it has been found through research involving feedback from caregivers, the stress of their regimen took the largest toll on their health. This led them to resort to foods such as chocolate chip cookies, donuts and other high in sugar foods.
However, the biggest factor is that there can be triggering incidents that lead to emotional outbursts. This can be upsetting to their emotional rhythm, which can make them grab the nearest box of chocolates and salty fries, both loaded with fat and carbs.
So how can a caregiver understand what triggers lead them to overeating the wrong foods? First of all, they should be aware of situations or remarks that can lead them astray, then assess how this could end with gorging on unhealthy foods.
Here are a few suggestions that can help fend off this habit:
- Talk to trustworthy friends or family members regarding your feelings about your emotions which can help divert the emotional strain
- Keep a journal where records of feelings and eating habits can be kept, that way triggers can be tracked and strategies can be learned to avoid them or address them in a different way
- Seek professional help. A good psychologist or counselor can help with healthily processing emotions
- Get physically active with exercises such as running, kickboxing or cycling
- Get a meal regimen in order. Eat only healthy foods like fruits, vegetables and boiled chicken (a great source of protein) and be sure to have these items readily available so that one doesn’t grab the unhealthy stuff when time is limited
Point 5 is very important here. Try eating good fat foods such as nuts like peanuts, almonds, and walnuts. Eat foods that are high in protein such as mushrooms and bell peppers. Fish can be a rich source of omega-6 fatty acids. Whole grains, brown rice, and oats can also work well to fill you up for a long time.
With these tips, you should find that you are not only looking after your wellbeing but also helping those you care for by being in a happy, healthy body and mind. Who knows… your good habits could rub off on them too!